Financial Services

Tri-Agency Information

The Tri-Agencies are made up of the federal granting councils: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).  These councils are a major source of research funding for post-secondary institutions in Canada.

Additionally, the CRC (Canada Research Chair) program, CERC (Canada Excellence Research Chairs) and NCE (Networks of Centres of Excellence ) are jointly administered by the three granting agencies.

All research that is funded by the Tri-Agencies is governed by the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards. The purpose of this Agreement is to set out the general terms and conditions governing the institutional administration of Tri-Agency Grants and Awards. Only institutions that have agreed to the terms and conditions of this agreement are eligible to receive funding directly from an Agency.

CIHR - Canadian Institute of Health Research

CIHR is the Government of Canada's agency responsible for funding health research in Canada. CIHR was created in 2000 under the authority of the CIHR Act and reports to Parliament through the Minister of Health.

CIHR was created to transform health research in Canada by:
  • funding more research on targeted priority areas;
  • building research capacity in under-developed areas such as population health and health services research;
  • training the next generation of health researchers; and
  • focusing on knowledge translation, so that the results of research are transformed into policies, practices, procedures, products and services.

CIHR provides grant funding through various research programs; each of which may have different guidelines and restrictions further to the ones outlined in Use of Grant Funds

A complete listing of CIHR programs is available on the CIHR website

You can also contact Research Development and Services with questions relating to application processes - phone: 519-661-2161 Email: res-serv@uwo.ca

NSERC - Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

NSERC is a departmental corporation of the Government of Canada and reports to Parliament through the Minister of Industry.

Through strategic investment in science and technology, NSERC aims to make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for the benefit of all Canadians. The agency supports postsecondary and postdoctoral students in their advanced studies, promotes and supports discovery by funding research conducted by university professors, and fosters innovation by encouraging Canadian companies to participate and invest in postsecondary research projects and the training of highly qualified people. NSERC researchers are on the front line of science - building on Canada’s long tradition of scientific excellence.

NSERC provides grant funding through various different research programs; each of which may have different guidelines and restrictions further to the ones outlined in Use of Grant Funds.

A full list of the different types of NSERC grants can be found on the Information For section of their website.

You can also contact Research Development and Services with questions relating to application processes - phone: 519-661-2161 Email: res-serv@uwo.ca

SSHRC - Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

SSHRC is the federal agency that promotes and supports university-based research and training in the humanities and social sciences. Through its programs and policies, SSHRC enables the highest levels of research excellence in Canada and facilitates knowledge-sharing and collaboration across research disciplines, universities and all sectors of society.

SSHRC-supported research in the social sciences and humanities enhances our understanding of modern social, cultural, technological, environmental, economic and wellness issues. The work SSHRC supports encourages the deepest levels of inquiry.  It spurs innovative researchers to learn from one another’s disciplines, delve into multiparty collaborations and achieve common goals for the betterment of Canadian society. Research outcomes are shared with communities, businesses and governments who use this new knowledge to innovate and improve people’s lives.

SSHRC provides grant funding through various different research programs; each of which may have different guidelines and restrictions further to the ones outlined in Use of Grant Funds

A complete listing of SSHRC Programs is available on the SSHRC website

You can also contact Research Development and Services with questions relating to application processes - phone: 519-661-2161 Email: res-serv@uwo.ca

CRC - Canada Research Chair

The Canada Research Chairs program stands at the centre of a national strategy to make Canada one of the world's top countries in research and development. The Canada Research Chairs program invests approximately $265 million per year to attract and retain some of the world's most accomplished and promising minds.

Chairholders aim to achieve research excellence in engineering and the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences. They improve our depth of knowledge and quality of life, strengthen Canada's international competitiveness and help train the next generation of highly skilled people through student supervision, teaching, and the coordination of other researchers' work.

The Canada Research Chairs Secretariat, which is housed within the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the program.  It reports to the Management Committee, which itself reports to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee reports to the Minister of Industry.

The allocation of Chairs to individual universities is an integral part of the Canada Research Chairs program. The process provides an element of dynamism to the program because the allocation is responsive to changes in research success at individual institutions.

The national re-allocation process is conducted every two years, includes both regular and special Chairs, and is based on the research grant funding received by researchers from the three granting agencies – CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC – in the three years prior to the year of the allocation.

There are two types of Canada Research Chairs:

Tier 1 Chairs, tenable for seven years and renewable, are for outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields. For each Tier 1 Chair, the University receives $200,000 annually for seven years.

Tier 2 Chairs, tenable for five years and renewable once, are for exceptional emerging researchers, acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead in their field. For each Tier 2 Chair, the University receives $100,000 annually for five years.

Financial Administration:

The University must maintain an individual Fund for each Canada Research Chair award. This Fund must clearly record all payments made into the Fund and all payments, by category, made from the Fund. Payment of expenditures from the award may only begin on or after the Chair start date. The Secretariat will make quarterly payments, through SSHRC’s finance division, on behalf of the granting agency designated on the chairholder’s nomination form. Installments for future fiscal years will be subject to availability of funds. Eligible and ineligible expenses are outlined on the CRC Website within the Chairs Administration Guide.

You can also contract Research Development and Services with questions relating to application processes - phone: 519-661-2161 Email: res-serv@uwo.ca

CERC - Canada Excellence Research Chairs

Launched in 2008, the Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) Program supports Canadian universities in their efforts to build on Canada's growing reputation as a global leader in research and innovation. The program awards world-renowned researchers and their teams up to $10 million over seven years to establish ambitious research programs at Canadian universities. These awards are among the most prestigious and generous available globally. The Canada Research Chairs Program Secretariat is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Canada Excellence Research Chairs Program.

The Chairholders are helping Canada build a critical mass of expertise in the four priority research areas of the federal government's science and technology strategy:
  • environmental sciences and technologies;
  • natural resources and energy;
  • health and related life sciences and technologies; and
  • information and communications technologies.
Canada Excellence Research Chairs are awarded through a highly competitive, two-stage process:
  • In Phase 1, Canadian universities compete for the opportunity to establish Canada Excellence Research Chairs at their institution.
  • In Phase 2, short-listed universities nominate leading researchers to these positions. The selection of Canada Excellence Research Chairholders is made by a selection board with final approval granted by the program's steering committee.

The Chairs Financial Administration Guide outlines the terms and conditions for administering Canada Excellence Research Chair and/or Canada Research Chair awards. It does not cover terms and conditions related to contributions from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

You can also contract Research Development and Services for any queries on application processes to the CERC program Phone: 519-661-2161 Email: res-serv@uwo.ca 

NCE - Networks of Centres of Excellence

NCE is a joint initiative created in 1989 by NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR, Industry Canada and Health Canada.

The program supports large-scale academically led research networks that harness the creativity and inventiveness of Canadian health, natural, and social scientists and engineers. Partners from industry, government and not-for-profit organizations contribute additional expertise annually. International acclaim has led other countries, including Australia, South Africa and some within the European Union, to incorporate the NCE model into their programs.

NCEs focus on issues that are critical to Canadians, and to the world by:

  • Mobilizing multi-disciplinary research capacity from across Canada
  • Engaging partners from multiple academic institutions and various public and private-sector organizations
  • Training the next generation of highly qualified people
  • Working with end users to accelerate the creation and application of new knowledge
  • Increasing collaboration between researchers in Canada and abroad


In general, the rules and policies of the granting agency (NSERC, SSHRC or CIHR) into whose domain the majority of the Network's activities fall will apply to that Network, as mutually agreed by the Network and the NCE Secretariat.

In addition to the rules and policies outlined in the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide,  all Networks must adhere to the regulations and administrative policies specific to the NCE program.

The NCE program guide contains a section on the Use of NCE Program Funds explaining eligible and ineligible expenses.